Broadcasting Authority praises media
Traditional media have come in for high praise from the Barbados Broadcasting Authority (BBA) for their role in informing and educating Barbadians about the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
A statement signed by chairman of the BBA, Dr Allyson Leacock, noted: “In the absence of a vaccine against this serious virus which is wreaking havoc worldwide, factual information from trusted and reliable sources is the only effective weapon available to the average man and woman to protect themselves and their loved ones during the current pandemic.
“Information is a source of knowledge which, in turn, is a source of power. Specifically, in this instance, the power to save lives through making the sensible choice of adopting sanitary practices which can save lives by containing the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 within our community.
“The critical role of broadcasters in particular and the mainstream traditional media in general has been quite evident during this public health crisis. As trusted sources of factual information, they have served as an effective counterbalance to the misinformation being spread on social media,” it added.
Leacock noted that during a crisis, people who are under threat look for reassurance and hope.
“The abuse of social media underscores the need for citizens to acquire skills which allow them to critically evaluate information which comes into their hands to determine its authenticity. A good example is the bogus story about welfare cheques. It turned out to be a hoax. Having media literacy skills is critical for effective citizenship in the 21st century,” she added.
Leacock underscored the media’s role as educator and informer as the traditional way of life “as we know it” will come under a 24-hour shutdown.
“They have not failed to perform this role with distinction. Our reporters are also frontline workers who ensure they keep us informed and they deserve our respect, as well as the many who keep presses rolling and all stations and media houses on air.” (PR/CM)
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